Edie Falco

Edith "Edie" Falco (/ˈdi ˈfælk/; born July 5, 1963) is an American television, film, and stage actress, known for her roles as Diane Whittlesey in the HBO series Oz (1997–2000), as Carmela Soprano on the HBO series The Sopranos (1999–2007), and as the titular character of the Showtime series Nurse Jackie (2009–2015).

    Early life and education

    Falco was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer who later worked for an advertising agency. Her father was of Italian descent and her mother's ancestry was Swedish and English. Falco's siblings are Joseph, Paul and Ruth. Her uncle is novelist, playwright, and poet Edward Falco, an English professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

    From the age of four she was raised on Long Island, moving with her family to Hicksville, followed by North Babylon, then West Islip. As a child she acted in plays at the Arena Players Repertory Theater in East Farmingdale, where her mother also performed.

    Her family eventually moved to Northport, where she attended high school and played Eliza Doolittle in a production of My Fair Lady during her senior year. Falco graduated from Northport High School in 1981. She attended the acting program at SUNY Purchase, along with fellow actors Stanley Tucci and Ving Rhames. She graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting.

    Career

    Falco in 2007

    Early in her career, Falco made appearances on television shows like Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street. Tom Fontana, executive director of Homicide, cast Falco as Eva Thormann, the wife of an injured police officer, after watching Falco's performance in Laws of Gravity, a 1992 film directed by Nick Gomez. Fontana said of her, "She's an actress who's unadorned by any embroidery. She does everything with such simplicity and honesty, it's breathtaking." A struggling actress at the time, Falco said her salary from these television episodes paid for one month's worth of rent. Fontana cast Falco as a regular character, prison officer Diane Whittlesey, in his HBO series Oz based on her work in the Homicide episodes "Son of a Gun" and "A Shot in the Dark".

    Her first big break in films was a small speaking role in the 1994 Woody Allen film Bullets over Broadway. Her friendship with former SUNY Purchase classmate Eric Mendelsohn, who was the assistant to Allen's costume designer, Jeffrey Kurland, helped her to be cast in the role. Mendelsohn would go on to direct Falco in his feature film Judy Berlin, for which he won "Best Director" honors at the Sundance Film Festival. Falco would go on to star in Mendelsohn's next film 3 Backyards, for which he won "Best Director" a second time. Mendelsohn is the only director to ever win this award twice.

    Falco, The X-Files star Gillian Anderson, Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, and 30 Rock‍ '​s Tina Fey are the only actresses to have received a Golden Globe, an Emmy and a SAG Award in the same year. Falco won these awards in 2003 for her performance as Carmela during the fourth season of The Sopranos. Edie Falco’s character Carmela Soprano is praised in Kristyn Gorton's essay "Why I Love Carmela Soprano" for challenging Italian-American gender roles.

    Edie has won four Emmys, two Golden Globes and five Screen Actors Guild Awards. Falco is the second actor to have won Emmys for lead acting in both a Drama and a Comedy series (the first actor to do so was Carroll O'Connor).

    Falco has appeared in the films Trust, Reversal of Fortune, Cop Land, Private Parts (non-speaking part), Random Hearts, Freedomland, and John Sayles' Sunshine State, for which she received the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for "Best Supporting Actress". On Broadway, she appeared in the Tony Award-winning Side Man and in the revivals of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune opposite Stanley Tucci, and 'night, Mother opposite Brenda Blethyn. She has also appeared as a guest star on the television shows 30 Rock and Will & Grace.

    Edie starred as the title character in the Showtime dark comedy series Nurse Jackie, which premiered in June 8, 2009 and ended on June 28, 2015.

    She recently played the part of Bananas in the Broadway revival of House of Blue Leaves in New York City with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Jason Leigh, for which she received her first and only Tony Award nomination. It was announced in January 2013 that Falco would star in Liz Flahive's The Madrid Off-Broadway. The limited engagement, directed by Leigh Silverman, began previews on February 5 with an official opening February 26. Along with Falco, the play starred John Ellison, Christopher Evan Welch (who has since died), Phoebe Strole and Frances Sternhagen.

    Politics

    During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Falco appeared in a 30-second television commercial on behalf of M.O.B. (Mothers Opposing Bush) in which she said "Mothers always put their children first. Mr. Bush, can you say the same?"

    Records show that she donated $1,000 to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, $300 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004, and two separate sums of $1,000 and $300 to Hillary Clinton in 2005.

    Edie Falco has become the spokesperson for Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and appeared on CNN on June 25, 2009.

    Personal life

    In 2003, Falco was diagnosed with breast cancer. She chose not to make the news public until the following year. Falco has had struggles with alcohol and decided to become sober sometime in the early 1990's after "one particular night of debauchery." She said in an interview that it was hard to be around the hard-partying cast of The Sopranos; "This cast in particular, they really love to hang out and party. They make it look like fun. And it was fun for me! They spend a lot more time without me than with me, by my own choice. I'm always invited, and I'm always there for two minutes and I leave, because I can't live in that world anymore. It's too dangerous." She is an advocate of Alcoholics Anonymous' 12-step program.

    Falco adopted a son, Anderson, in 2005 and a daughter, Macy, in 2008.

    In 2012, Falco was the subject of an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? which focused on her matrilineal descent from the daughter of a Cornish master mariner, from Penzance, who was born at sea and died in 1840.

    In 2013, Falco teamed up with PETA in a public-service message urging parents to keep their children away from the circus.

    Filmography

    Film

    Year Film Role Notes
    1987 Sweet Lorraine Karen Credited as Edith Falco
    1989 The Unbelievable Truth Jane – The Waitress
    1989 Sidewalk Stories Woman in Carriage
    1990 Trust Peg Coughlin
    1991 I Was on Mars Female Cab Driver
    1992 Laws of Gravity Denise Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
    1992 Time Expired Ginny Short film
    1993 Rift Film Director
    1994 Bullets over Broadway Lorna
    1995 The Addiction Jean
    1995 Backfire! Mom
    1996 Layin' Low Angie
    1996 The Funeral Union Speaker
    1996 Breathing Room Marcy
    1996 Childhood's End Patty
    1997 Hurricane Joanne
    1997 Private Parts Alison's Friend Uncredited
    1997 Cop Land Berta (Bomb Squad Agent)
    1997 Trouble on the Corner Vivian Stewart
    1997 Cost of Living Billie AFI Fest Award for Best Actress
    1998 Blind Light Diana DiBianco
    1998 A Price Above Rubies Feiga
    1999 Judy Berlin Judy Berlin
    1999 Stringer TV Producer
    1999 Random Hearts Janice
    2000 Death of a Dog Mom
    2000 Overnight Sensation Festival Coordinator
    2002 Sunshine State Marly Temple Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
    Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
    Nominated—Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd place)
    Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
    2004 Family of the Year
    2005 The Girl from Monday Judge
    2005 The Great New Wonderful Safarah Polsky Segment: Emme's Story
    2005 The Quiet Olivia Deer
    2006 Freedomland Karen Colluci
    2010 3 Backyards Peggy
    2013 Gods Behaving Badly Artemis Post-production
    2016 Megan Leavey Jackie Leavey Filming

    Television

    Year Title Role Notes
    1996 The Sunshine Boys TV Movie
    1993–1997 Homicide: Life on the Street Eva Thromann Recurring Role
    5 Episodes
    1993–1998 Law & Order Sally Bell Recurring Role
    4 Episodes
    1995–1997 New York Undercover Sgt. Kelly Recurring Role
    3 Episodes
    1997–2000 Oz Diane Whittlesey Recurring Role
    23 Episodes
    1999–2007 The Sopranos Carmela Soprano Main Role
    85 Episodes
    Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1999, 2001, 2003)
    AFI Award – Actor of the Year – Female – TV Series (2002)
    Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2000, 2003)
    Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2002)
    Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (1999, 2002, 2007)
    Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1999, 2007)
    TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (2003)
    Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2001–2002, 2005, 2007–2008)
    Nominated—Golden Nymph Award for Outstanding Actress – Drama Series (2008)
    Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2000, 2004, 2007)
    Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2000–2001)
    Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2000–2001, 2004, 2006)
    Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2000–2002, 2004, 2006)
    Nominated—TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama (2001, 2004)
    Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series (2000)
    2000 The Sight Ghost TV Movie
    Uncredited
    2001 Jenifer Wheelchair Saleswoman TV Movie
    2004 Will & Grace Deirdre Episode: "East Side Story"
    2007–2008 30 Rock Celeste “C. C.” Cunningham Recurring Role
    4 Episodes
    Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
    2009–2015 Nurse Jackie Jackie Peyton Main Role
    Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (2010)
    Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2010–2011, 2014–2015)
    Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (2011–2015)
    Nominated—Prism Award for Female Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline (2010, 2012)
    Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2009)
    Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2010)
    Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (2010–2014)
    Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2013)

    Theatre

    Year Title Role Notes
    1998–1999 Side Man Terry Original play
    Jun 25, 1998 – Oct 31, 1999
    Theatre World Award
    Nominated – Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play
    2002–2003 Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune Frankie Original play
    Aug 8, 2002 – Mar 9, 2003
    2004–2005 'night, Mother Jessie Cates Revival play
    Nov 14, 2004 – Jan 9, 2005
    2010 This Wide Night Lorraine Peter Jay Sharp Theater
    2011 The House of Blue Leaves Bananas Shaughnessy Revival play
    Apr 25, 2011 – Jun 25, 2011
    Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
    Nominated—Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play

    Awards and nominations

    References

    External links

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